- Asking your accountant to separate your accounts into more sub-headings to get to the bottom of your key production costs. Pick the top three, then the following year invest some time in researching ways to reduce them.
- Have a good relationship with your bank manager.
- Core values - decide what these are for you, your business and the products that you grow.
- Have a short and long term plan — a minimum of five years for the latter. Pettitt said: "We spend so much time thinking about the one season and the day-to-day but very little on the direction we would like our businesses to go in.
- Find and keep good staff by motivating and training them well
- Spread your risk
- Visit variety trials and new developments events
- Explore opportunities, both locally and nationally for securing grant aid
- When large scale capital investment is required to replace specialist equipment, consider contractors as an alternative
- Take an active part in the HDC and the NFU.
Pettitt said: "Get these [points] right and I believe that you and your business can be ready to take up the opportunities when they come. So, when you get home this evening, take a look at my list and see whether you can implement any changes."